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Republic FC Rockstar Week 3: Second-Grade Teacher Tyler Long

By Connor Sutton, 08/20/21, 9:30AM PDT


Educator Encourages Social and Personal Growth With Young Students

Throughout August, Republic FC and Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain are recognizing the contributions and supports of community members during the pandemic and beyond. Every week a new Republic FC Rockstar will be selected from the fan and community nominations. The Indomitable Club and Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sacramento are calling on fans to nominate a Rockstar – frontline or essential worker who made an impact during the last 18 months, a veteran or active-duty member of the Armed Forces, a dedicated teacher or passionate volunteer, or one of the countless stories of service, support and indomitable spirit of the region – and share a story of a community champion. A Rockstar will be selected weekly and honored, with a grand prize including a hosted stay at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento and a VIP experience at a Republic FC match.

Tyler Long, a second-grade teacher at Arlington Heights Elementary in the San Juan School District is this week’s Republic FC Rockstar. Long’s commitment to his students began long before the pandemic, but the challenges of distance learning – and the new environment his students are experiencing, are an example of how he embodies the Indomitable Spirit. Throughout every lesson, Tyler encourages his students to strive for academic, social, and personal growth by remaining upbeat and positive.

Virtual classrooms have put a damper on learning for many students, but Tyler went above and beyond by working hard to connect with his students daily with enthusiastic teaching.

“Being a teacher is the biggest reward that you can have in every way but getting that feeling reciprocated back towards me is incredible,” Long says. “Now that we are back in the classroom, I love seeing the kids in person. Even though I can’t see their smiles [behind their masks], they are smiling with their facial expressions. Just having them in the classroom and having the conversations with them is something I cherish.”

Long also runs programs for his students outside of school including coaching basketball, reading for fun, or taking them on field trips virtual or in-person.

Tyler Long’s story of being a community rockstar is even more incredible with the fact that he has been battling cancer during the past year and a half.

“In March of 2021, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and I don’t know where I would be right now in my life if it wasn’t for my wife,” Long says. “She essentially saved my life. Dealing with the pandemic and finding out new news, it's been emotional, to say the least.”

Long persevered through his health complications and continued to inspire children in the virtual classroom and is now cancer-free.

What Tyler Long had been going through personally during the pandemic and through all of that remaining a positive influence on his students is the definition of indomitable.

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